Speedplay owner Richard Byrne is a self-confessed weight weenie who has often had sub-11lb bikes on his company’s show stands, so it’s no surprise to see him making some of the lightest pedals in existence. This racing-only edition of the Speedplay Zero works as well as the regular pedals but the price is more than a bit scary.
Speedplay’s mechanism is in the cleat rather than the pedal. The pedal itself is very simple, with a round, double-sided body and metal contact points for the cleat. The design provides plenty of cornering clearance, low height, easy entry and exit and is inherently light. To engage, simply stomp down on the body. You have up to 15 degrees of free float, adjustable with the limit screws on the cleat.
That adds up to a unique collection of features. Speedplay fans cite the double-sided design, low stack and cornering clearance as particular advantages. With stainless axles, standard Zero pedals weigh 204g/pair, plus 121g for cleats. Steel axle Look Keo Carbon Blades are a shade lighter at 227g and 74g but also a bit more expensive. This version of the Zero pulls out all the stops to save weight. The pedals weigh just 129g thanks to a titanium axle, carbon fibre-reinforced thermoplastic body and screws and cleat engagement points in titanium and aluminium instead of steel.
The cleats have also been lightened. Carbon fibre-reinforced thermoplastic bodies and aluminium screws bring the weight down to 88g. The screws demand an expert mechanic’s care in fitting and it’s vital you read the instructions to set them up right. That makes these far and away the lightest pedals from a major manufacturer, and once fitted they’re indistinguishable in use from regular Zero pedals.
But there is, literally, a price to be paid and it’s a hefty one: £600. That’s a staggering amount of money and a hell of a lot extra to pay to save 108g. But if you’ve already swapped out everything else in pursuit of a low gram count, you have 2.5 per cent body fat and your entire identity is bound up in light bike gear, these are for you.
This article was originally published in Cycling Plus magazine.